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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Meaningful Valentine...Simply Let The Journey Begin...

"Run to the mountain;
Shed those scales on your eyes
That hinder you from seeing God"
- Dante, "Purgatoria" The Divine Comedy

The essence of living is that life is simply a journey.  Who knows where journeys really begin?

I remember many who are suffering from terminal illness, seemingly living (or not living) on 'borrowed' time.  When we are so-called 'suffering', we are often much more receptive to change - we feel things more acutely; desperation, some call it.  It is easier to shed the 'scales' from our eyes.  However, when things are perceived to be going well for us, it is natural for many of us to close up...even to the extent of finding it easy to resist God.

Journeying through life involves, more often than not, taking a step into the unknown; into the mysterious dark.  Part of the flawed human condition is that we do sometimes fail.  Failing is part and parcel of our journey through life; as a result of our mistakes, hasty judgments, poor decisions, badly chosen comments...and naturally, our stubborness in doing things our own way.

When we 'fail', we simply get discouraged and drown in regret.  We seldom can see the blessing of failures...which often leads to a greater truth.  We seldom forgive ourselves for how we have failed, we are seldom merciful to ourselves or people we have harmed through our selfich actions.  In the Holy Bible, we encounter many whom Jesus has called - poor people who were flawed and failed in the eyes of the world - ordinary people!

If we deem our journey through life as 'perfect' and we are self reliant on our own 'thinking', resourcing and capabilities, we find that their relationship with God is distant, shallow and superficial.  The world often distracts us into believing that we are 'full' of everything, strong and in control.  When we are "full", we "fool" ourselves into an illusion that we are one class above the rest; a caste higher, more full that one is not receptive of means journeying based on our own terms.

In life, flaws and failures often humbly brings us to our knees.  Similarly, illnesses, heartaches, broken families, poverty and death will do the same.  We lose our will power, our resources to live, to journey...

When one is tempted to feel like the greatest failure in the world, know that God can always be relied on to welcome us, to fill us; we must let God come into our flawed simply accompany us on this journey. 

Your flaws are actually your greatest treasures - like grains of sand in oyster shells that must grate and irritate to become pearls.  Like it or not, such imperfections actually keep our ego in check - a much needed daily reminder of how much we need the grace of God.  By becoming aware of our own weaknesses, we become more compassionate to the inadequacies of others on the same journey.  We are human beings, all the same.

Only we ourselves honestly know whether we have actually begun our journey with God, only we know whether we have shed the 'scales' off the eyes of our hearts; uncling all our worldly clingings. 
One thing certain is that God reaches out to us in the way that God has always reached out to human beings - through our ordinary, simple, flawed lives.

Our pilgrimage journey actually begins when we are empty and awake to the presence of God in every aspect of our flawed lives...

"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people.  It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life." 
- Anne Lamott

Let your journey with God begin this Valentine...

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